Cover photo for Charles Lester Key's Obituary
Charles Lester Key Profile Photo
1938 Charles 2019

Charles Lester Key

April 8, 1938 — June 2, 2019

Charles Lester Key, 81, of Franklin, Kentucky passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Sunday, June 2, 2019.

Lester was born on April 8, 1938 in Edmonson County and a resident of Franklin KY for 54 years where he called home.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Kelly and Lillian Key along with his sister Emogene Cassady and brothers Cecil, Carl and Larry Key.

Lester is survived by his wife of 62 years, Maxie Kinser Key, his daughter Cindy Dickman (Mike) of Louisville KY and son Charles Key (Julie) of Bowling Green, KY; a sister, Maxine Cheek of Sweeden, KY, a brother, Walton Key (Dorothy) of Bowling Green, KY.  He also leaves behind his beloved grandchildren Lillie and Maggie Dickman and Lucy, Chloe, Charlie and Brady Key.

Lester began his career with Key Oil Company, a single service gas station in 1962.  Three years later with Lester’s entrepreneurial spirit, Keystops, LLC was established.  Today Keystops, LLC employs over 250 people with six companies and subsidiaries.   Service Transport, LLC, Southern Kentucky Maintenance LLC;  Key Oil Company; South Central Equipment; Southern Environmental Services and Key Development.  Key Oil Company is headquartered in Franklin, KY and has 18 locations that service the entire state of Kentucky, Tennessee and parts of West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

He was a staunch supporter of his community for over fifty years.  In recognition of this honor he received the Key to the City in Franklin in 2015.  He also served on a number of bank boards in Kentucky.  He was inducted into the Junior Achievement of South Central Kentucky Business Hall of Fame in March of 2019.  This honor was given to him for his many contributions to the community.  Some of these contributions are his numerous Western Kentucky University Scholarship Awards through an annual golf scramble, his support of The Boys & Girls Club of Franklin and financial support to many local high schools.

Lester was a longtime, active member of Franklin Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder and many other leadership roles. He has left an indelible mark on his church family, his community, his Key Oil family, his many longtime friends and his wife, children and grandchildren.  He will be forever in our hearts.

Visitation is scheduled for Wednesday, June 5, 2019 from 4-7 pm at Franklin Presbyterian Church, 201 North College Street in Franklin, KY.  There will be a Celebration of Life on Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 12:00 noon at Franklin Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Franklin Presbyterian Church, The Boys & Girls Club of Franklin or to theWKU Keystops Scholarship Fund

Online condolences may be made at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles Lester Key, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)


Click to watch

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)


Click to watch

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 108

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree